MNEK MASTERCLASS

MNEK is a Grammy nominated writer, producer and singer. He has had multiple chart successes, such as the top ten hits, Ready For Your Love, Never Forget You and Blinded By Your Grace Pt 2. I was lucky enough to catch his song writing masterclass, hosted by BBC radio presenter Natalie- Eve Williams and find out how he became the go to songwriter for the likes of Beyoncé.

It started at the age of 14, during the era of Myspace, which MNEK (whose real name is Uzoechi Osisioma Emenike) recalls using to spam every single one of his favourite artists with his demos. If you’re wondering how a 14 year old makes demos, him and his brother created a DIY recording studio in their garage, which included a microphone and his mum’s tights as recording apparatus.  But Uzoechi believes young budding songwriters need to get into the industry and surround themselves with other people who are also career driven, as he remembers being the only person in school who knew what they wanted to do as a job. But by all means make a studio using your mum’s tights if you feel like it.

The triple threat hasn’t always been writing meaningful lyrics for global artists such as Beyoncé, Madonna and Christina Aguilera. His first song was about Pen and Paper, because he claims he hadn’t experienced enough in life to talk about. Since then he has talked about his sexuality referenced in the song Colour ft Hailee Steinfield, referred to by Billboard as a ‘LGBTQ modern anthem’. He has also written about his success in the industry, which includes winning an ASCAP Vanguard Award for his contribution to song writing. This is shown in his debut album Language, which was released last month, with the song Correct, in which he says ‘I was making fame before Year 7 begun, I was getting paid before I was getting drunk.’

I asked MNEK whether he preferred writing for other artists or making hits out of his creations by singing on them himself, he responded saying ‘I just see myself as a person that makes music, I enjoy both, I enjoy song writing whether it’s telling my own story or helping someone else tell theirs.’  He laughed as talking about this triggered a memory of the time he produced and co-wrote song Never Forget You for Zara Larsson and then decided he wanted to sing a verse on the track causing a dispute between himself and Zara’s management. It proved a good move to make, as the song peaked at number 5 on the Official Charts.

Expect to continue seeing MNEK’s name on the charts and awards shortlists, perhaps with songs from genres he isn’t usually featured in. As he would love to strip back and record a Bond theme esque song with no tempo, just a piano and his vocals. Who knows, he could be following in the footsteps of fellow British artist Sam Smith and performing the next James Bond theme song.

Mötley Crüe Drummer, Tommy Lee, beaten up by his own son.

Tommy Lee, the infamous drummer from 80s rock band Mötley Crüe, has shared a shocking picture tonight on Instagram of his bust up lip. But, it’s not from a old fashioned rock n’ roll bar brawl, in which you would expect, the attacker was his son.

Lee wrote a caption underneath the image stating ‘My heart is broken. You can give your kids everything they could ever want in their entire lives and they can still turn against you. Good job Brandon! Great son. ‘ Brandon is the oldest of his two children with former wife, Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson. Both Brandon and Pamela have yet to respond to the post.

Tommy’s recently announced Fiancé, comedian Brittany Furlan, is the only family member to respond with the simple emojis ‘💔😞’.

The full story is still unknown, but being as popular as the Lee/Anderson family are, we are sure to find out soon.

Highly Suspect Live review!

Highly Suspect are the three time Grammy-nominated alternative rock band from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The three piece consists of Johnny Stevens on vocals and lead guitar, Ryan Meyer on Drums and Rich Meyer on bass, all of whom returned to the UK this week for a headlining tour of their second album ‘The Boy Who Died Wolf’.

The alt rock genre band performed at Manchester Academy 2 on the 6th of February, with a DJ on stage getting the crowd excited for the show, like a ringmaster introducing a circus. The three piece began with popular track ‘Bath Salts’ from their previous album ‘Mister Asylum’ in which the crowd sang along with every word. The band’s performance throughout was electrifying, which reflected on the crowd as they created three story piggy-backs and jumped around without a care in the world ,as lead singer Johnny requested.

However, the atmosphere sparked further during the Grammy-nominated track ‘Lydia’ which formed a mosh pit covering the majority of the crowd. As the crowd got ready to mosh to the heavier part of the song, the band teased them by pausing and thanking the staff at academy, including the security guards. This was a polite act which is usually dismissed by musicians, especially rock bands. The band then resumed the song allowing the crowd to electrify once again.

The set list included a personal song from bassist Rich Meyer and Drum solo from Ryan Meyer, which showed that the band’s talents are showcased equally. The crew which talents are usually kept behind the scenes, were also showcased on stage as they swapped instruments with the main band members a number of times, allowing Johnny, Ryan and Rich to interact with the audience.

The band’s encore consisted of the US chart topping hit ‘Little One’, emotionally raw ‘Serotonia’, ‘My Name is Human’ in which the bass shook the venue like an earthquake. They ended the set with the slower grunge jam ‘Wolf’, including a thrilling guitar solo from Johnny, whilst his fellow band member’s crowd surfed before saying their goodbyes and leaving the stage.

It’s hard to place Highly Suspect in a specific genre as each of their songs contains a new form of energy and sound, but one thing they all have in common is that they are completely raw and reveal the band’s feelings towards themes, such as politics and relationships. This show specifically began with low key moody blue lighting and Johnny with his face hidden by a bandanna, however like they have done on their albums, they revealed themselves more and more throughout the set, transitioning to pink high key lighting, Johnny showing his face and the rest of the band ending the show within the audience.  The band provided a post-modern performance, with guitar riffs similar to hard rock band’s ‘Queens Of The Stone Age’, immaculate drum sequences that can be compared to likes of Royal Blood’s and 90’s grunge vocals near to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder’s. Overall, the band’s performance was outstanding, with the audience’s atmosphere matching creating a steal of a show at only £15.

Songs to listen to at full volume:

F.W.Y.T
My Name Is Human
Little One
Lydia

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